We entered Denmark by Ferry with our Campervan Milli-VAN-illi from the German Island of Fehmarn on the 15th of June 2022. Although our initial plan was only to pass through this region of Denmark on our way north towards Sweden, we very quickly fell in love with the natural beauty all around us and even after two weeks, we didn't really want to leave! Contrary to what many people had told us, we found Denmark extremely Campervan-friendly. We ended up spending a total of 15 days exploring the islands of Møn and Sjælland (Zealand), making our way north to Helsingør where we took the ferry to Helsingborg, Sweden on 30th June 2022. In all this time, we only paid for overnighting once - in Copenhagen - while also adhering to and respecting the rules for Motorhomes in Denmark!
In this post we will discuss our experience of being on the road, overnighting with our motorhome, our experience of van life in general in Denmark, the cost of food and sightseeing, the best seasons to plan your visit and some practicalities for visiting Denmark by Motorhome or Campervan. In our opinion, Denmark is a fantastic place to travel by Campervan or Motorhome during the European summer. The roads are well maintained and the countryside is clean and safe. Be sure to watch our YouTube videos from our time in Denmark to see for yourself!
Our route through Denmark from Germany to Sweden took us primarily to the islands of Møn and Sjælland (Zealand). The map below shows all FREE overnight stops in Denmark in green with the "trees" denoting scenic campervan parking areas in nature and the "P"'s denoting less scenic overnight parking areas (blue ones are paid and green ones are free). As you can see, only one of the 8 places that we overnighted at was not FREE - this was a parking area designated for motorhomes at the Kastrup Marina in Copenhagen and cost 160 DKK (21.50 EUR) per night including all services.
Is wild camping allowed in Denmark?
Denmark does not have a ‘right to roam’ law similar to that of Sweden or Norway. However, in our opinion, this is not necessarily a bad thing. There are many different options available in Denmark which still allow you to legally overnight in your Campervan or Motorhome for FREE! We spent 15 nights in Denmark and only paid for overnighting once - when we stayed for 3 nights at a parking area designated for motorhomes at Kastrup Marina near Copenhagen.
It is important to understand and adhere to the regulations with regard to Overnight Parking in Denmark, not only to avoid unnecessary fines but also in order to prevent further restrictions from being imposed on Motorhomes in the future.
Motorhomes can also stay on local farms (a process known as bondegårdscamping) where farmers allow overnight stops. Farms with camper parking can be found at bondegaardsferie.dk.
Overnight Parking vs Motorhome Camping in Denmark
In order to abide by the Motorhome regulations in Denmark, it is important to understand the difference between Parking and Camping when overnighting in your vehicle.
The motorhome is generally considered to be PARKED when: It has contact with the ground only by the wheels, without stabilizer legs. When parking, a Motorhome must fit within the parking lot lines and may not have any additional elements, “protruding” beyond the campervan (e.g. awning, windows, doors or tables, chairs). Campervans/Motorhomes that are too large to park in regular parking spaces need to make use of special marked parking spaces. These can usually be found at most Marinas in Denmark. Campervans can normally pull into any roadside layby (rasteplads in Danish) to take a break or rest. Sleeping / Overnighting in a Motorhome at most roadside laybys or other parking areas is generally tolerated for a period of one night or 24 hours. Longer than that may be considered camping!
The use of levelling blocks is not very clear. There are two types: chocks, which are used to prevent the car from rolling, and levelling blocks, which, as the name suggests, are used to level the vehicle. If we use levelling, it may be considered camping, if you use the chocks it's probably still considered parking.
A motorhome may be considered not parked but CAMPED when: It has stabilizer legs deployed; There are elements that go beyond the perimeter of the vehicle, such as awnings, tables, chairs or outward-opening windows; It emits annoying and loud noises, for example, a generator – not necessarily at night; Dumping of any liquids – grey or clean water.
Please consider that not abiding by the regulations only makes it more likely for unofficial overnighting to be banned in the future.
How much do Campsites cost in Denmark?
Danish campsites can be loosely grouped into two types: those affiliated with the Danish Camping Board (Campingrådet), and independent campsites (Frie).
The Danish Camping Board rates its affiliated camping sites with a 1 - 5 star rating. Any site rated with two stars or more will provide Campervan facilities for emptying and refilling with water. However, in order to stay at these campsites, you need a Camping Key Europe card. These cards can be bought at all Danish Camping Board campsites on arrival and are valid at numerous affiliated campsites all over Europe. They cost around 110 DKK or if you are only staying for one night, you can purchase a transit pass at individual campsites for 35 DKK.
Denmark’s independent campsites may not have the same rating system as the Danish Camping Board’s sites, but that doesn't mean that their facilities are any worse as all Danish campsites are approved by local authorities which means that standards are always pretty good. The advantage of making use of independent campsites is that you don't have to worry about purchasing the Camping Key card.
The Camping Card ACSI offers off-season reductions at almost 100 campsites around Denmark for as little as €13 per night. The truth however is that you most likely won't be travelling through Denmark during the off-season period due to the cold weather!
It may be worth noting that many camping sites offer reduced prices if you arrive after 8pm and leave before 10am.
Are there Motorhome Service Areas in Denmark?
Using the Park4Night App, it is really easy to find suitable campervan overnight and motorhome service areas throughout Denmark. These vary between free and paid service points to both free and paid official motorhome overnight parking areas. The official motorhome parking areas are often in or near Marinas. Even though we only paid to stay at an official Motorhome parking and services area once during our 15 days spent in Denmark, we never struggled to find free motorhome service areas in between our free overnight stays. This paid area was at Kastrup Marina in Copenhagen and cost only 160 DKK (21.50 EUR) per night including all services.
If you plan on predominantly parking without services in Denmark, there are plenty of FREE Motorhome Service Areas which are easiest to find using the popular Park4Night website or App. These can also often be found at Marine Parking areas / Harbours which also often have dedicated Motorhome Overnight areas.
Roads of Denmark - Do I need to travel Toll Roads?
We found the main roads in Denmark to generally be good and comfortable to travel by campervan. The country is predominantly flat but some of the rural roads can be rather narrow, especially when having to share them with oncoming farm equipment!
Denmark only has two main toll roads: the Øresund Bridge (between Denmark and Sweden) and the Storebælt Bridge (between the east and west of Denmark).
Driving in Denmark
Fuel costs in Denmark are rather high in comparison to the rest of Europe. We found the price of fuel to be the same throughout the country which at least saved us the hassle of trying to find the cheapest place to fill up. The country is predominantly flat but some of the rural roads can be rather narrow, especially when having to share them with oncoming farm equipment! We experienced the Danish drivers to be very relaxed and friendly and the overall driving experience was very pleasurable.
We thoroughly enjoyed the 2 weeks that we spent travelling Denmark by Motorhome around the islands of Møn and Sjælland (Zealand). So much so, that we are planning on returning to Denmark to see more of the mainland this time. Despite the many complaints about Denmark not having the ‘right to roam’ law similar to that of Sweden or Norway, we found Denmark to be very campervan friendly. There are plenty of free overnight parking areas and camper service stations throughout Denmark. The service areas are sometimes not at the overnight locations but can almost always be found at Marina areas. We were blown away by the natural beauty and generally relaxed nature of the country and look forward to returning to explore more of Denmark.
Food in Denmark
We found supermarkets in Denmark to be roughly 20% more expensive than in neighbouring Germany. Fresh seasonal produce is available and groceries are significantly cheaper than in Sweden or Norway. We spent a total of 23 EUR per day on all food and drink for the two of us. This included far too many Danish pastries but almost no alcohol whatsoever (with the exception of a couple of beers from a supermarket).
You might find it interesting that in Denmark it is legal to buy and consume beer and wine from the early age of 16, and only higher-percentage drinks from the age of 18. It is also generally allowed to drink alcohol in most public places!
What you might refer to as a Danish pastry, is called a Wienerbrød in Denmark as it actually originates from Vienna, Austria! Be sure to try one freshly baked and still warm!
Denmark has such stunning nature, with what feels like a never-ending coastline, beautiful inland countryside and picturesque Marinas, that you could easily visit Denmark without spending anything on actual sightseeing. We found that entrance fees to most tourist sights are on par with western Europe. However, there are a few cheaper alternatives available and walking around the outside of most open-air monuments and historical sites is often free.
A great free adventure can be hunting for the giant wooden trolls all around Sjælland (Zealand). There are many castles throughout the country. We visited Frederiksborg Slot in Hillerød which we can highly recommend. Even though we are not particularly 'city people', we absolutely loved Copenhagen where we also went on a boat tour of the canals.
Best Season to Visit Denmark
If you want to moderate to warm weather, you should visit anytime from late May until late August. Outside of these months, it can be rather cold. Another thing to keep in mind is that the summer holidays begin around mid-summer (24/25 June) which means that there are loads of young people celebrating their graduation from school and the holiday spirit is high! Of course, taking part in the local mid-summer celebrations is a wonderful experience in itself.
Practicalities of Travelling Denmark
Denmark is a really easy country to travel to. English is fairly widely spoken or at least understood and the people are very friendly. We found Denmark to be welcoming to the concept of vanlife and we found it a pleasure to travel the country with our motorhome. We look forward to returning to Denmark and hope to spend even more time here during the European summers to come!
Fresh drinking water is freely available throughout the country. Public toilets are generally easy to find and are mostly free and clean.
Credit cards are widely accepted and we never found the need to withdraw any cash.